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Re: VC mode and git

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: VC mode and git
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:30:13 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hello, Stephen.

On Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 03:38:54PM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Richard Stallman writes:

>  > Bzr has more or less the same flexibility as Git,

> Only from your self-declared non-expert perspective.  Bzr has *one*
> advantage in flexibility over git, and that is bound branches.
> Otherwise, git has a huge advantage over bzr in flexibility at every
> level.  

Correction: git is hugely more flexible than bzr.  It's a value
judgement as to whether this flexibility is a "huge advantage".

Flexibility means complexity.  Complexity, without a good reason, is
bad.  git's complexity is IMAO very bad in this sense.  That this
complexity is not needed in a useful VCS is proved by the counterexample
of Mercurial.

I thoroughly resent the hour after hour after hour I've been forced to
spend reading git man pages, desperately searching for the obscure
option (or obscure command name) needed to get me out of some problem or
other, or find out how to do some simple thing.  I strongly suspect
Richard would agree with me on this point.

Just for comparison, the git man pages weigh in at 1,681,250 bytes, the
entire Emacs manual (24.3, info format) is 2,315,718 bytes.  A VCS should
not take the same order of magnitude of text and effort to describe and
learn as Emacs does.

A VCS which can dump somebody in the sort of problems Richard now has,
when he has merely been performing the simplest of operations, is an
excessively "flexible" system.

>  > and yet it has a simple mode of operation which doesn't create this
>  > problem.

> It's not a problem for anyone who doesn't have a decade and a half of
> CVS usage under his belt.  Really.  And as Eric points out, most of us
> who do have that experience have also jumped on the DVCS bandwagon
> with a shout of joy.

As an on-jumper, I can't recollect any shouts of joy on my part.  DVCSs
have advantages and disadvantages, and I think the former outweigh the
latter - except in the case of git.  Personally, I would now be more
productive in Emacs if we had just stayed with CVS (though I do
recognise that part of that advantage came from other people's drudge

> I'm not saying that you should jump for joy, too, just that you are in
> a fairly small and rapidly decreasing minority.

One wonders at this point just how many people have been excluded from
active participation in free software projects due to being unable or
unwilling to learn git.  These people don't get to vote, and don't get

[ .... ]

> Regards,

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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